In The News

Huffington Post: When it Comes to Pensions, Doing Nothing Is Not an Option

By Randy G. DeFrehn, Executive Director, National Coordinating Committee for Multiemployer Plans (NCCMP)

As a long time AARP member and advocate for retirement security, I have always been impressed by and supported the organization's strong defense of its members' economic well-being and its ability to explain those often complex issues in plain language without being unduly alarmist.

That opinion changed, however, when I read the column titled "Protect Our Earned Pensions" by A. Barry Rand, CEO, published in the Huffington Post. In it, Mr. Rand rightly describes the important role that multiemployer pensions play in the lives and businesses of more than 10 million workers and employers; however, he is off the mark when he writes that one proposal under consideration by Congress regarding multiemployer plans would "back out on promises made to retirees." What Mr. Rand doesn't say, and what everyone should know is, if we do nothing, these pensions will be at greater risk of deeper cuts. Under current law, retirees are faced with the prospect of seeing their hard-earned pensions vanish with no recourse and no tools to salvage their retirement if their plans falter. Some could see a 63 percent drop in monthly benefits if we don't reform the law.

The reform plan under consideration, "Solutions Not Bailouts," is designed to "save distressed plans from insolvency," but does so by giving retirees and trustees the tools to prevent catastrophic losses and better prepare for the future. Not only is this proposal not an attack on pensions, it has been carefully crafted with input from both labor and business to preserve higher benefits than available under existing law for participants of many plans projected to become insolvent.

Under the Solutions Not Bailouts reforms, current and future retirees would fare much better than they would under existing law. Congress has the opportunity and the responsibility to provide solutions before these pension plans become a crisis. We can help ourselves before it's too late if we are given the flexibility to find workable solutions tailored to each pension plan. Doing nothing will ensure future retirees will have nothing for retirement.

For full text, click here.

Posted 14:15PM on February 07 2014 by Jessica
Categories: SNB in the News